Help! My Life Has Hit A Plateau (has yours?)

It occurred to me in the middle of driving my wife to work after we’d dropped the kids at school on a totally ordinary day with nothing special happening at all: I’ve hit a life plateau. I blurted it out to the wife. “I feel like I’ve hit a plateau”. I’d been thinking about it for a while. My daughter just finished a book report on an entrepreneur who is giving back to the world in a huge way… he’s helping people in developing countries to get drinking water and shoes. He’s a year YOUNGER than me. It got me thinking. I’m out of college, fully established in my career, fully entrenched in parenthood with two girls, long gone from being a newlywed (long long gone)… I literally am right now who I am.. not who I’ve spent the past twenty years striving to be. I am the person I’ve become. So what’s NEXT. Or is this it.

My wife was the first to say.. “What’s wrong with a plateau?” She went on to speak with me about the things that truly matter.. our family.. our kids.. each other. It was a nudge to me to try and spend more time thinking about the things I HAVE accomplished.

I dropped her off at work, went home, and took the dog for a walk. I walked slowly.. that slow springtime walk where you close your eyes and breathe deep. I listened to the birds. I listened to the wind. I started thinking of that plateau. I always envision one of those beautiful mesas in the desert. They’re tall and majestic and reflect the sunset. They’re flat and level. The plateau is the bedrock.. literally. A plateau is stable and strong and steady. It’s a lot like my family. Maybe the plateau isn’t so bad after all.

Maybe I can learn to embrace the flat spots in life… the place between the peaks and valleys. It’s not a white surrender flag that there isn’t more to do… it’s just an acknowledgement that it’s OK to be where I am right now… and to take my time to get where I’m going.

By the way we’ve been planning where we’re going this summer for vacation. We’re thinking about a trip to the Grand Canyon.. maybe I will get to see some of those plateaus in person.

image

taken in Yosemite Summer 2014

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About dadmissions

author of Dadmissions. surrounded by a wife and two girls... and a dog named Cupcake
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2 Responses to Help! My Life Has Hit A Plateau (has yours?)

  1. Many times I’ve felt the same way as you. It really hit me strong about a year ago when I suddenly found out that my brother-in-law was going back to get his masters degree which would mean that our family would have a lawyer, two doctors, and a rocket scientist. And then there is me, a TV producer who doesn’t even need a college degree.

    Then I pause, I watch the TV network that I produce for, I watch my son’s reaction when he sees something that I did and I realize that if it wasn’t for me, my wife wouldn’t be going back to school. That plateau doesn’t seem so bad after all. It isn’t as dangerous as the climb up to the plateau because you never know what kind of hard spots you will find. There is security in being able to stand there and not have to worry about going up or down.

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